2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Year in Review 2012: Top 10 Searches
Chalk up another one for the voter: People may have been wearied by the negative campaigns, but they persevered through the slog of politics and made "elections" the year's most searched term. The fifth iteration of an Apple smartphone, a glorious gathering of athletes, the passing of a superstar, and a bevy of celebrities—including one duchess—also mesmerized online audiences in 2012.
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- China closes 66 'illegal' golf courses
China's Communist rulers have turned against the exclusive sport of golf with the government saying nearly 70 "illegal" courses have been closed, seemingly enforcing a decade-old ban for the first time. The announcement by the ministry of land and resources comes amid a high-profile anti-graft campaign spearheaded by President Xi Jinping, which has seen crackdowns on banquets, lavish gift-giving and other official excesses. The ruling Communist Party has long had an ambivalent relationship with golf, which is a lucrative opportunity for local authorities and a favoured pastime of some officials, but is also closely associated with wealth and Western elites. "Presently, local governments have shut down a number of illegally-built golf courses, and preliminary results have been achieved in clean-up and rectification work," read the announcement on the ministry's website late Monday.